Phaser banks on the Constitution class

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Vanyel, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    My guess it that the Enterprise in order to make that same shot would have to fire from below the horizon in order to match the angle of the cannon. They were firing at the door from slightly below it. I suppose the Enterprise could've fired from above the horizon to hit the door at a slight down angle though. Maybe they didn't want the phaser beam to hit the ground behind the rock in fear of damaging the underground areas where Pike might be kept?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Also, orbital bombardment with phasers doesn't always involve pinpoint accuracy. We see fairly sharply focused beams when our heroes demolish Apollo's temple or Vaal, but only diffuse glow when they bombard the Iotian gangsters, or when Riker witnesses the Space Jellyfish attack against Farpoint and likens it to phaser bombardment.

    Personally I agree it was due to them only wanting to open the door without damaging the passageway beyond, though. This was precision work; the pedestal device probably couldn't have "leveled a continent" even though the ship had the required oomph, but the device had the best odds of making a hole in that door.

    (Incidentally, that device would probably make for a piss-poor weapon, as it is only capable of line-of-sight work but seriously lacks in mobility, operator protection, or even in the ability to aim the beam past obstacles or self-protection embankments. Is that a modified camera dolly the double bubble business end is resting on?)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...And the comments at that link highlight the one thing wrong with using motion picture shooting hardware as stand-ins for battlefield shooting hardware. Camera work needs to be smooth and steady. Gun work needs to be fast and steady. There is no utility for steadily flowing "pans" in gun applications, as guns need to be pointed rather than panned in order to be effective. This goes for machine guns, too.

    Steadicams and more conventional dollies are typically specifically designed to prevent rapid pointing, which would look awkward in film.

    However, this only applies to placing a real gun on a real dolly. A futuro-gun that doesn't have much recoil or weight, placed on a dolly that has motion accentuators in place of motion dampers, is a perfectly fine idea, and might look exactly like its stage counterpart cobbled together from motion picture shooting hardware.

    That said, I'm not opposed or supportive of the way the "The Cage" phaser mount was executed. I just feel the mounting rules out the idea that the phaser would be a weapon. We have seen phaser drills elsewhere in Trek, in their more compact 24th century form, and they are fine and useful engineering tools. But heavy battlefield phasers aren't very useful if hobbled by a clumsy surface mount, and might predominantly exist in vehicle-mounted applications. (Not as add-ons to vehicles, but rather as vehicles themselves - an uncrewed cannon hovering a few meters above and ahead of Sarge, slaved to her remote control, sounds like the most reasonable application.)

    Then again, everything we have seen in this thread suggests that the mounting of heavy phasers indeed is a clumsy affair: Kirk's starship evidently suffered from horrible firing arc limitations, only alleviated by the installation of excessive numbers of actual emitters! Either that, or then weapons are such a tertiary application for starships that they suffer placement limitations as the result.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Like the acts of cinematic buthery they mislabel as cinematography (aka "shakey-cam") nowadays.

    Oh, yeah, I went there! :p

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I think on looking again at the device in "The Cage", it does look more like a drilling apparatus than a laser or phaser cannon. The mount does NOT seem to allow it much freedom to swivel and the device seems to be pretty long relative to the ball turret design we're use to seeing in diagram or TMP.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We get some very enjoyable if purely accidental continuity there, yes - the "twin-ball" gun and the later "pressure vessel" diagram share a look that later gets perpetuated by the TMP ball turrets and then by Doug Drexler's cutaway drawings that depict starship phasers as a series of spherical chambers.

    The pedestal raygun of "The Cage" did not much resemble the sidearms of the episode, but that's only for the better - we can now claim that multi-bubble design is typical of phasers while laser sidearms might be unrelated technologically... Too bad the design of the ENT phase cannon in turn matched the sidearms of the show, rather than tying thematically to the multi-bubbles.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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